It’s the question that just wouldn’t go away for most of the 2013 PGA Tour season. “Did Rory McIlroy‘s switch from Titleist to Nike gear ruin his game?”
I never really subscribed to the idea that the world’s No. 1 player could switch equipment manufacturers and have it completely bomb his game out. Obviously there are going to be some differences in how some clubs handle, but the top guys are getting their gear custom built. This isn’t some off-the-rack operation like many of us deal with.
Still, it’s not every day you see someone come off the white-hot 2012 that McIlroy had, just to come crashing back down to earth in 2013. With no wins and little success to breed hope, observers could only be left to wonder what caused it and how it could possibly turn around. If you don’t subscribe to the “lovelorn McIlroy” theory and believe that he still knows how to play golf at a high level, then it’s only logical to wonder if maybe the equipment did have something to do with it.
In a recent media session in Las Vegas posted to the Tour’s official site, McIlroy told reporters that he feels very good about the state of the equipment in his bag. He noted that his putter was probably the biggest thing he’s had to adjust to this year, as he switched back and forth between the Nike Method model and his old Scotty Cameron by Titleist that he had played for years. Rather unsurprisingly, Tiger Woods made those same changes over the course of his career, and it seems to have worked out fairly well for him.
Obviously we’ll all be anxious to see McIlroy back out on the PGA Tour when 2014 begins, and if everything he’s saying is true, then we’ll at least have one excuse off the table if he struggles coming out of the gate. I don’t know that we’ll see another year like 2012 out of him, but I think we’ll see some big changes from McIlroy in the new year.